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5 Celebrities with Advanced Degrees

When we think of famous celebrities, we often think of their talents working in the entertainment industry. This is not shocking since that is most of their career and how they became publicly known. A lot of celebrities have dropped out of college or not finished their schooling after their “big break,” but there are a few stars who you may not know are pretty highly educated. It’s understandable why lots do not have education, since it may not be as necessary for them, or they may have just been tutored. Yet, it is always exciting and makes me respect celebrities when I see that they are more highly educated. Here, I have compiled a list of some shocking celebrities who have a higher education than you may believe. All of these celebrities have doctorates of all kinds: PhDs, MDs, Ed.Ds, etc.

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik is best known for her roles as Blossom Russo on Blossom and as Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory. Similar to her character on The Big Bang Theory, she has a PhD. Her PhD is in neuroscience from UCLA, and her thesis was “Hypothalamic regulation in relate to maladaptive, obsessive-compulsive, affiliative, and satiety behaviors in Prader-Willi syndrome.”

Shaquille O’Neal

The professional American basketball player is considered one of the greatest players in NBA history. However, he is clearly great at more than one thing as he holds his Doctor of Education in Human Resources Development. He received the degree in 2012 at Barry University, where his doctoral capstone was entitled, “The Duality of Humor and Aggression in Leadership Styles.” He also has hinted that he plans to further his education by attending law school. Clearly, Shaquille O’Neal has plenty of talents on and off the court.

James Franco

James Franco is best known for his acting abilities, but he also is a director, screenwriter, producer, and painter. Not to mention that he also has an interesting history with education. Franco received his MFA from Columbia University for poetry in 2010. Currently, he is working in a PhD program at Yale University in English. He also has apparently taught film classes at New York University, the University of Southern California, UCLA, and others!

Brian May

Brian May is best known for his guitar skills as he was lead guitarist of Queen, but he also has a surprising degree. You may not see the Rock’n’Roll lifestyle fitting in with higher education, but Brian May would disagree. Along with singing, writing, and playing songs such as “We Will Rock You” and “I Want It All,” May is also an astrophysicist. May received his PhD studying reflective light from interplanetary dust and the velocity of dust in the plane of the Solar System. He still continues to research and contribute in the field, while just being a Rockstar as a side job.

Ken Jeong

Ken Jeong is a comedian and entertainer best known for his roles in the television show Community, The Hangover film series, and his now lead show Dr. Ken. Judging by the show, it is surprising to know that Ken Jeong actually is a licensed physician and received his MD at the UNC School of Medicine in 1995.  Jeong was a physician of internal medicine and actually practiced for a few years as his career took off, but now he is an entertainer full time. With a sense of humor like his, I am sure he made a great doctor, cheering the patients up. Maybe someday he will return to his practice.

Julia is a biochemistry major on the pre-med track. She aspires to be an OB/GYN and is focused on writing blogs about women's health. When not writing, Julia is also a member of Koshare Dance Collective.
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